Modern American universities are strange places. They concentrate populations of 18- to 22-year-old youth at the peak of their sexual appetites, celebrate unbridled sex through sex festivals and the dispensing of free condoms, tolerate party scenes of wild drunkenness and hook-ups, then get morally self-righteous about a phantasmagorical “rape culture.” Writing in City Journal, Heather MacDonald describes the campus descent into wanton hedonism and the bizarre, politically correct embrace by liberal administrators of a “campus rape industry.”
Colleges and universities now have administrative staff whose job is to fret about the rape culture, 99% of which does not resemble anything you or I would consider rape (involuntary sex, usually under threat of violence), and have set up quasi-judiciary institutions to mete out gender justice. (Parents, this is just one of many reasons your college tuition bills are increasing!)
Sadly, MacDonald draws much of her material from the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary, with a stray quote thrown in from James Madison University. The epidemic of so-called rape stems largely from drunken sexual encounters, leading to situations like this incident at W&M:
In October 2005, at a Delta Delta Delta formal, drunken sorority girls careened through the host’s house, vomiting, falling, and breaking furnishings. One girl ran naked through a hallway; another was found half-naked with a male on the bed in the master suite. A third had intercourse with her escort in a different bedroom. On the bus back from the formal, she was seen kissing her escort; once she arrived home, she had sex with a different male. Later, she accused her escort of rape. The district attorney declined to prosecute the girl’s rape charges. William and Mary, however, had already forced the defendant to leave school and, even after the D.A.’s decision, wouldn’t let him return until his accuser graduated. The defendant sued his accuser for $5.5 million for defamation; the parties settled out of court. …
In the fall semester of 2005, rape charges spread through William and Mary like witchcraft accusations in a medieval village. In short succession after the Delta Delta Delta bacchanal, three more students accused acquaintances of rape. Only one of these three additional victims pressed charges in court, however, and she quickly dropped the case.
Universities respond to the drunken hook-up culture with politically correct nonsense. Modern feminists defend the right of women to be sexually promiscuous. But when a drunken 20-year-old woman regrets a sexual encounter with a drunken 20-year-old man, the charge is defined as rape and the man is presumed guilty. To see how detached from reality the Ivory Tower is, just Google some combination of words as “drunken college sex parties,” and take a gander at the results. Combine Fellini’s Satyricon with Millennial Generation exhibitionism — college kids are filming this stuff and putting it online — and this is what you get. If you’re a Boomer like me, you’ll never think about college the same. If you’re a Gen-Xer, you might seriously think about providing your kid a different kind of higher-ed experience.